2 suspects in MSU explosion are members of DI Maute group, says PNP
MANILA, Philippines — The first two suspects in the deadly bomb attack at Mindanao State University (MSU) in Marawi city were members of the Maute group under the command of Daulah Islamiyah (DI).
PNP spokesperson Colonel Jean Fajardo revealed this information in a press briefing.
Fajardo identified the suspects as Kadapi Mimbesa, alias “Engineer,” and Arsani Membisa, who has three aliases – “Lapitos,” “Khatab” and “Hatab.”
Based on the CCTV police gathered, Fajardo said Kadapi and Arsani were seen entering MSU at around 7 p.m. on Sunday, December 3.
They briefly stayed inside the campus and then left.
“At bago po nangyari yung pagsabog ay nakita po sila, yung dalawang suspects na papalabas ng MSU,” Fajardo described the scene.
(Before the bombing took place, they were seen, the two suspects going out of MSU.)
“At yung isang POI (person of interest) natin, it appears na tumawag po siya, which might have triggered etong pagsabog,” she said.
(After this, one of them made a phone call, which might have triggered the explosion.)
“At immediately ay umalis kaagad sila ng MSU pagkatapos nilang gumamit ng telepono,” she told reporters.
(Then, they left MSU at once after using their phone.)
Citing police records, Fajardo reported both suspects were involved in previous bombings.
The suspects also have pending warrants of arrest.
Arsani was reportedly involved in a murder case, also in Marawi city, and the case was filed in May 2022.
According to Fajardo, these cases enabled authorities to track down the two, who were initially tagged as POIs.
She added Police Regional Office of Bangsamoro Autonomous Region is preparing criminal complaints against the suspects.
Meanwhile, Fajardo said police are they looking for two other possible persons of interest, who might have served as lookouts during the attack.